13. Driving the Baja Peninsula, Part 1

After a lot of planning, it was finally time to enter Mexico. We’d be lying if we said we weren’t a little apprehensive about this part of our trip… or more accurately that Jason was a little apprehensive about this part of our trip. Other than brief trips to Tijuana and Ensenada in Wendy’s youth, we’ve never been to Mexico. Before our departure, we received so many dire warnings about crooked cops, crime, and diarrhea from well intentioned friends and family. And, as we’ve found in so many of our travels, the reality is often far different (and so much better) than what we’re been cautioned and exposed to, thanks to the American media. For the three weeks we have traveled down the Baja peninsula, we have only encountered friendly policeman at the several military checkpoints we have passed through, friendly and honest Mexicans at our every stop, and simply the best food we’ve ever had (outside of Thailand, which doesn’t really count since authentic Thai is not so much food as manna from God).

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Fresh tortillas make life better

Our stops on the way to Todos Santos in Baja Sur–the far South– included, in order: Ensenada, San Quintin, Bahia de Los Angeles, Guerrero Negro, San Ignacio, Bahia Concepcion, Loreto, La Paz, Los Barrilles, Cabo San Lucas, and finally, Todos Santos. A 2000 mile journey, spanning 17 days. We have seen and experienced so much.

Our highlights:

**The beach comber’s dream of San Quintin, where on a short walk one can find hundreds of intact sand dollars and just as many cool shells. Our campground “Fidel’s el Pabellon” was also a gem. Here we were greeted by Fidel himself and provided with all the firewood (scrap lumber filled with nails) that we could burn for $5, and an amazing sunset. We enjoyed all of this with exactly one other camper that was also staying here.

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Wendy doing a little writing at Fidel’s el Pabellon

**The natural beauty of Bahia de Los Angeles where we camped at “Daggett’s Campground”. Jason even found a place to enjoy the Superbowl in this small coastal town.

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Our first sunset from our camp spot at Daggett’s Beach in Bahia de Los Angeles

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Jason’s own private Superbowl party… no shortage of hot sauces to go with Superbowl snacks.

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Jason taking his Christmas present out for its maiden voyage in Bahia de Los Angeles

**Whale watching at Ojo de Liebre, about an hour down a bumpy gravel road outside of the town of Guerrero Negro and through the salt flats. Seeing close-up dozens of momma gray whales with their calves, and actually getting to touch one; simply magical.

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A curious whale checking out the boat

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Indi getting to pet her first gray whale calf

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Our camp spot at Ojo de Libre where we could see and hear the whales in the lagoon

**Paddling in the gorgeous bays of Bahia Concepcion, one of the most beautiful places we’ve visited in the world. The five days we camped here have been the highlight of our trip thus far.

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Not a bad spot for $4 per night. Especially when each morning you can get barrels of water, fresh fruit and vegetables, empanadas, tamales, and shrimp delivered right to your front door.

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Because sometimes “just” paddling isn’t enough of a challenge

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Coyote Beach, where we decided to hunker down for a few days

**The best meal of our trip (which is saying a lot) at “El Rey Del Taco” in the town of Loreto. They serve the most delicious fish, shrimp, and steak tacos imaginable, at least until their fresh supplies run out, usually by 2:00 PM.

**Celebrating Jason’s 41st birthday in the community of Los Barilles. Where Jason nearly got knocked off his paddle board one evening by a curious gray whale and her calf while paddling offshore with Wendy. And also where the family got to enjoy a dip, in a near perfect swimming hole, in the mountains near the town of Santiago.

 

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Birthday swim

And, of course, meeting up with our good friends, the Martinez family, spending time with Grandpa Beard and Grandma Lipgloss, and volunteering for 10 days, hatching and releasing sea turtles in the town of Todos Santos. All of which you’ll hear about in our next blog post.

2 thoughts on “13. Driving the Baja Peninsula, Part 1

  1. heather traner says:

    OMG!!! So glad you’re enjoying that beautiful land. The story and pictures about the whale are absolutely mind-blowing!!!! And the privacy, the fresh food… the water hole… ahhh!!! What a fabulous trip. 🙂

    xoxo
    PS. Happy Birthday, Jason!!

    Liked by 1 person

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